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Advent: Getting Beyond Fear

 

12-6-11 Psalm 27:1-4 Getting beyond fear

What are you afraid of? I have a whole list of things, but the top two have to be fear of the unknown and fear of failure.

I found it interesting as I was preparing for Christmas one year to look at how many times the participants in that first Christmas were told not to be afraid. We may never be addressed by the heavenly host, but we have fears. We may not wear them on our sleeve, no one may even know what fears gnaw at our heart and keep us from enjoying life to its fullest. No one, but God.

There was a movie several years ago about some grown men, who in an effort to find themselves, go on a cattle drive (City Slickers). They meet up with a gnarly cattle boss who keeps telling them that life is about one thing. Unfortunately, he dies before he can tell them. As believers we too have “one thing” that should drive us, and keeping that goal in sight should dispel our fears. Our one thing is live in God’s presence: dwelling in his house, beholding his beauty, and asking all our questions.

Just now, thinking back over my own fears, I realize that their roots go deep into trust. I imagine that was true for Mary, for Joseph, for the wisemen and shepherds. None of this made sense, not to mention it was being fortold by a scarey and overwhelming angelic army. But God wanted them to rest assured, to trust him in the midst of their doubts and fears. He was in control and totally trustworthy.

What are you facing this Advent season that is causing fear to rise up in you? Hear the voice of God, “Don’t be afraid. I am in control.”

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